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2016 BMW 3 Series revealed

New engines, styling and suspension tweaks for updated 3 Series range.

BMW has revealed its mid-cycle update for the 3 Series sedan and Touring wagon range. 

The update coincides with the 40-year anniversary of the 3 Series as BMW’s most successful model to date and brings refreshed styling, new engines and revised suspension.

The styling changes are subtle but include new headlights with full LEDs available now as an option and new taillights with distinctive LED design.

The front and rear bumpers have also been lightly massaged in an attempt to make the car look lower and wider.

The big news however, is beneath the metal, where the refreshed 3 Series boasts a range of new or updated engines.

The entry-level petrol 318i is now powered by a 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine, already used in the 2 Series Active Tourer and Mini ranges. 

In the 3 Series it produces 100kW/220Nm and can use 5.0L/100km combined on the European cycle.

The base 316d diesel is powered by an 85kW/270Nm 2.0-litre turbodiesel unit which uses 3.9L/100km combined.

The popular 320i petrol also receives BMW’s new 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder engine first seen in the 2 Series Active Tourer and Mini Cooper S.

The ‘B48’ engine produces the same 135kW as the 'N20' engine it replaces but with 290Nm it packs an extra 20Nm of shove.

Zero to 100km/h takes 7.2 seconds (down 0.4 seconds) while fuel consumption is rated at 5.5L/100km (a 0.4L/100km improvement).

The big news is beneath the metal, where the refreshed 3 Series boasts a range of new or updated engines.

The 320d diesel retains its 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine but receives a slight power boost from 135kW to 140kW and 400Nm.

Combined fuel consumption on the European cycle is listed as 4.4L/100km. 

A pair of more powerful diesels producing 160kW/450Nm and 230kW/630Nm respectively are also available in Europe but are unlikely to be offered locally.

The mid-cycle facelift also sees the 328i replaced by the 330i, which uses the same 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder as the model it replaces but with an extra 5kW for 185kW/350Nm.

The 330i will sprint from 0-100km/h in 5.8 seconds and use 5.5L/100km combined.

Similarly the six-cylinder 335i is being replaced by the 340i which is the first model to use BMW’s new B58 3.0-litre turbocharged straight six.

The new motor produces 240kW/450Nm, up from 225kW/400Nm in the 335i.

That’s enough for a 0-100km/h sprint time of 5.1 seconds – down from 5.5 -, while fuel consumption is 6.5L/100km combined.

A 330e hybrid model will complete the range next year, powered by a 135kW four-cylinder engine and electric motor to give a total of 185kW/420Nm.

The efficiency-focused model uses just 2.1L/100km combined on the Euro cycle, but can still hit 100km/h in a swift 6.3 seconds.

An EV mode will also allow for up to 35km of emissions-free electric drive.

In overseas markets a six-speed manual is the standard transmission with an eight-speed automatic optionally, though we’ll likely get the self-shifter as the default option.

The new 3 Series also brings upgraded interior materials, namely the polished black plastic surrounding the climate control and stereo buttons.

The suspension has also been tweaked with a stiffer setup across most models aimed at improving cornering agility.

As for the M3 performance model, the styling tweaks will also be applied to the M hot-rod while an engine retune is also expected.

The facelifted BMW 3 Series range is expected to arrive in Australia later this year with prices closely aligned with the adjusted pricing announced earlier this year.

Check out Malcolm Flynn's video review of the BMW 3 Series:

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